Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'Another lost generation': My notes from yesterday's inauguration

No words... 
First -- One look at the new members being sworn in tells me that the City Council won't be the same. Congrats to the expanded and energized Progressive Caucus and especially newest progressives like Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Milly Santiago (31st), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) and more.

Rahm's inauguration speech got rave reviews -- from Rahm. He couldn't wait to get on the phone and call gossip columnist Sneed to tell her how wonderful it was. Rahm tells Sneed, his speech was so great that his mother cried and his father praised him in Hebrew.

Comedian Richard Lewis stopped by lingerie company peach’s launch party at the Public Chicago Hotel Saturday . . . Oh wait. I'm reading the wrong Sneedling. Sorry. Here's the one on Rahm's call.
He told me he had a speech on education and finances ready to go, but he scrapped it a week ago. 
“I thought, well . . . spring is a season for renewal and what could be more personal than our kids,” said Emanuel, who has three children: Zach, Ilana, and Leah [remember, he scorched reporters for bringing up his kids?--m.k.].
“But I wasn’t just thinking about my kids,” he said. “I was thinking about the human spirit and about kids who have an absence in their eyes that you don’t see in your own children."
Who's Lost?...Rahm was speaking not about his kids, but other people's children, who he describes as "a lost generation." You know -- the human spirit.

When the mayor talks about young people in Chicago, especially children of color, it's in the language of pathology and hand-wringing.
And so the mayor talked about the city's troubled youth, describing them as children who live in poverty, fail to receive a proper education and can turn to a life of crime. -- Tribune
“The faces of these lost and unconnected young men are often invisible — until we see them in a mug shot as the victim or perpetrator of a senseless crime, Their existence is avoided rather than confronted. They live in the shadows of our cities — and in the recesses of our minds."
Does this generation look "lost"?
He takes no personal or political responsibility and offers only band-aid solutions to the problems he helped create.
  "...beyond government initiatives... the mayor cited the Phillips Academy football team that made the state finals and Urban Prep Academy’s record of 100 percent college attendance". -- DNAInfo
Don't even get me started on Urban Prep's 100% attendance.

Who's Absent?... No, it's not about "an absence in their eyes". Those "shadows" the lost generation are supposedly living under are about boarded-up schools, the absence of health clinics, libraries, factories and businesses in their isolated and segregated neighborhoods. On top of that comes Rauner's cuts to social services, youth job programs, and education.

No mention in the mayor's speech about Moody’s downgrade of Chicago’s bond rating to junk status. along with those of the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park District. He never mentions Spike Lee's "Chiraq" film, the results of his massive school closings, or the SUPES/Barbara Byrd-Bennett scandal. And hardly a word about the pension crisis -- what the S-T calls, "the gorilla in the room”.

Ald. Scott Waguespack noticed.
 "I was really expecting to see something by now, and it's a little foreboding not to see any substantive ideas put on the table."
Memo to Rahm -- It's not the generation that's "lost." It's you.

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